For we have not followed cunningly devised fables. (2 Peter 1:16)
It is amazing that Satan’s wiliest stratagem against Christian believers is to use our virtues against us! Perhaps it is more amazing that he often does this with great success.
By means of temptation to sin he strikes at our personal lives; by working through our virtues he gets at the whole community of believers and unfits it for its own defense.
To capture a city an enemy must first weaken or destroy its resistance. The Church will never fall as long as she resists. This the devil knows; consequently he uses any stratagem to neutralize her resistance.
Satan first creates a maudlin, inaccurate concept of Christ as soft, smiling and tolerant. He reminds us that when Christ, as a lamb brought to slaughter, opened not His mouth—and suggests that we do likewise. Then if we notice his foot in the door and rise to oppose him, he appeals to our desire to be Christlike. “Love everybody and all will be well,” he urges.
The shepherd, taken in by this sweet talk, is afraid to use his club, and the wolf gets the sheep!